Once upon a time I was a hopelessly hopeless romantic, who used to dream of her prince charming coming to rescue her on a white horse drawn wagon, literally. In complete costume and everything. Don’t ask me why I dream in period pieces. But, I did and I would be whisked off into the sunset rescued from the depths of muddy despair wearing peasant clothing from the 18th century.
My romantic notions hadn’t taken shape yet due to lack of experience. Let me rephrase that, lack of bad experience. I truly believed fate was going to lead me to my soul mate. This idea that there was this one person who would fit me so well that the stars would align so that we could find each other and all would be perfect in the universe once we were joined. So, I wasn’t worried. While my younger sister was off dating boyfriend after boyfriend to systematically find the ONE, I remained happily singularly just me.
I had one high school boyfriend who was really just my best friend. He was the sweetest boy I had ever known. He showered me with affection I didn’t know what to do with. But, I felt in my heart that the world was so much bigger than what it was at the moment and I couldn’t settle for just that when my life was just about to begin. We broke up after 6 months when I started to not return his phone calls and we slowly become distant. I felt that it was for his own good. A couple years after high school graduation, I went to his wedding. He is now married with three beautiful children. Everything he had wanted, he got. Sitting at another friend’s wedding reception, our catch-up conversation was intermittent when he had to chase down his children to get them to eat their dinner. I secretly thanked god, that that wasn’t me. Is that bad?
I went on dates in college. No real serious dating. My motto at the time was if it wasn’t the ONE, it wasn’t worth a second date. I thought I knew from the first 10 minutes of meeting someone. I was also busy taking 21 units a semester and working part-time to pay for college. I was meeting a lot of people through extra work. Some sparked my interest because they were passionate types of people but it turns out, actors or people attracted to the entertainment field, were mostly passionate about themselves.
After college I took a gap year abroad in Thailand for a year and was preoccupied with traveling, modeling and what not for the year that I didn’t have much time for boys. Come to think of it I don’t think I even had celebrity crushes. Actually, I do remember one “crush”. On the beaches of Krabi on the back of a truck I met this guy traveling around the world who was ending his travels in NYC. We talked until he got off at his stop with his travel mate and as the truck drove away we just stared at each other as the distance between us grew till we were only mere dots just passing by. I think we had talked about meeting up somewhere but we never exchanged information so there was no way, except for serendipity to step in, that we would ever see each other again. Serendipity never even got around to putting shoes on.
Then it was off to grad school, where one persistent, charming boy completely and utterly swept me off my normally, capriciously grounded feet. I fought tooth and nail to not succumb to his charms. But, his persistence paid off and I was reluctantly head over heels. For almost three years I thought I found the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. We planned our future wedding and named out future kids. I waited for a quarter of a century but I finally found my “soul mate.” Unfortunately, he changed his mind when I hadn’t yet and didn’t know any other way out but to cheat on me so that he had an easy way out. I was heartbroken. Like my world turned upside down, lost 15 pounds, didn’t eat, leave my room except for work heartbroken.
That experience broke my soul. It took me to a dark place where flowers don’t grow. I didn’t know how someone could hold my face in his hands, look me in the eyes, whisper “I love you” and then yank my heart out, dropkick it and then smash it into a million pieces. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. My first love and my first real official heartache and I didn’t know how to make that pain go away. It was beyond devastation. I didn’t eat, sleep or live. I went through the motions in a cloudy daze and had no real will to do anything. Anyone who’s had his or her heart broken could attest to this. When you’re not there you can’t begin to imagine how bad it could actually be. But, when you’re there, it seems so bleak and endless. But, now I know that the heart is a lot more resilient than I thought it to be.